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house Bill H.R. 122

Should the Federal Minimum Wage Exceed $13 an Hour?

Argument in favor

Economic inequality is rampant in the U.S. today. Raising the minimum wage will ensure that workers can support themselves and their families while helping in the economy grow in a sustainable way.

larubia's Opinion
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11/25/2019
Minimum wage should be at least $15.00/hour. If you work 40 hours a week, you should not fall under the poverty line. Working a 40 hour week, you should be able to rent an apartment & pay for groceries without another job or government assistance. Minimum wage has not increased since 2009. At the same time, this year the Economic Policy Institute, “estimates that America’s top-earning 1% took in 22% of all national income.” We have not had such wealth inequality since the Great Depression, when the 1% took in 23.9% of the country’s income! We have a great economy for the 1%; for everyone else...not so much. Raise the minimum wage to at least $15.00/hour.
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Kevin 's Opinion
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11/25/2019
It’s foolish that people making $250,000/hour are trying convince people making $25/hour that someone making $12/hour is greedy and will wreck the economy. Divide and conquer.
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burrkitty's Opinion
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11/25/2019
Myth: The minimum wage was never supposed to be a living wage. This is probably one of the most dangerous—and easy to debunk—lies about the minimum wage, which was championed by Franklin D. Roosevelt beginning in 1933. During an address FDR gave about one of his many economic packages, he explained that “no business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country”. At the time, Roosevelt’s Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938—passed as part of New Deal legislation—set minimum wage at 25 cents. Roosevelt intended this rate to be “more than a bare subsistence level.” The minimum wage was created expressly to ensure that people of all skill-levels, if they worked, could “earn a decent living” off those wages—thus, a living wage.
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Argument opposed

Why should the minimum wage for a single person with no dependents be above the poverty level for a family of four? This bill will cost people their jobs and increase unemployment.

Emmett's Opinion
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11/25/2019
Shut up already with the whole income inequality crap already. People get paid what the market and employer say their labor is worth. If you believe you are worth more than you are being offered, you can either turn down the job or gain skills that employers are willing to pay you for. Bottom line, it falls on you as a job seeker to improve your lot in life.
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JTJ's Opinion
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11/25/2019
So by using a picture of Hispanic ladies, you are insinuating that immigrants should come to America and receive $15hr jobs? No, the government has no business setting a minimum wage. It only drives inflation and kills jobs.
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Curtis's Opinion
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11/25/2019
Raising minimum wage would just increase the cost of living. People who have minimal skill deserve minimal pay, if you want more pay gain the skills required. A mechanic deserves more pay then a fast food worker.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Education and Labor
    IntroducedJanuary 3rd, 2019

What is House Bill H.R. 122?

This bill would increase the federal minimum wage and index future increases to inflation every four years, allowing people who work minimum wage jobs to earn at least 15 percent higher than the federal poverty level for a family of four. That comes to about $28,290 or about $13.55 per hourStates would still be allowed to set their minimum wages at a level exceeding the federal minimum wage.

$13.55 an hour wouldn't be set in stone, as the federal minimum wage would be re-calibrated every four years to adjust for inflation — unless the adjustment would result in a lower wage in which case no adjustment would be made.

Impact

People working minimum wage jobs; their families; business owners and employers; and the U.S. economy.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 122

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Currently, the federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. 29 states and the District of Columbia have state minimum wages that exceed the federal level.  In 2019, 21 states and the District of Columbia are raising their minimum wages, largely in response to the Fight for $15 movement, which began in 2012 when fast-food workers began walking off the job and demanding higher pay.

Sponsoring Rep. Al Green (D-TX) has introduced this bill in three consecutive Congresses. He says this bill “should accelerate the growth of our economy and provide greater opportunity as well as prosperity for all Americans, not just the privileged few.

This legislation has no cosponsors in the current Congress. In the last Congressional session, it had the support of 10 cosponsors in the House, all of whom were Democrats.

Of NoteIn February 2014, the CBO analyzed the effects of two minimum wage increase proposals — one that would raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $9 per hour, and another that would raise it to $10.10 per hour. The CBO’s central estimate for the $9 per hour proposal projected a decrease in employment of 100,000 workers, while its central estimate for the $10.10 per hour option was a decrease of 500,000 workers. It also found that of the $31 billion in increased wages that would be earned, only 19 percent of that total would go to families earning below the poverty level, while 29 percent would go to families earning more than three times the poverty level.

The findings of the CBO’s analysis seem to coincide with those of other research, including the American Action Forum — that found that a $1 increase in the minimum wage corresponded with a 1.48 percent increase in unemployment. The Mises Institute describes the underlying relationship between the minimum wage and employment

“Minimum wage increases make it more likely that firms won’t hire new people… companies are moving toward more automation, at least partly because of minimum wage increases.”
However, the Economic Policy Institute’s research on the minimum wage offers dissenting findings from both the CBO and other sources. It projects that increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour would create an additional 84,800 jobs across the U.S. while increasing national income for affected workers by nearly $35 billion.

Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user Annette Bernhardt)

AKA

Original Living Wage Act

Official Title

To amend the Fair Labor Standards Act to provide for the calculation of the minimum wage based on the Federal poverty threshold for a family of 4, as determined by the Bureau of the Census.

    Minimum wage should be at least $15.00/hour. If you work 40 hours a week, you should not fall under the poverty line. Working a 40 hour week, you should be able to rent an apartment & pay for groceries without another job or government assistance. Minimum wage has not increased since 2009. At the same time, this year the Economic Policy Institute, “estimates that America’s top-earning 1% took in 22% of all national income.” We have not had such wealth inequality since the Great Depression, when the 1% took in 23.9% of the country’s income! We have a great economy for the 1%; for everyone else...not so much. Raise the minimum wage to at least $15.00/hour.
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    Shut up already with the whole income inequality crap already. People get paid what the market and employer say their labor is worth. If you believe you are worth more than you are being offered, you can either turn down the job or gain skills that employers are willing to pay you for. Bottom line, it falls on you as a job seeker to improve your lot in life.
    Like (62)
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    It’s foolish that people making $250,000/hour are trying convince people making $25/hour that someone making $12/hour is greedy and will wreck the economy. Divide and conquer.
    Like (100)
    Follow
    Share
    Myth: The minimum wage was never supposed to be a living wage. This is probably one of the most dangerous—and easy to debunk—lies about the minimum wage, which was championed by Franklin D. Roosevelt beginning in 1933. During an address FDR gave about one of his many economic packages, he explained that “no business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country”. At the time, Roosevelt’s Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938—passed as part of New Deal legislation—set minimum wage at 25 cents. Roosevelt intended this rate to be “more than a bare subsistence level.” The minimum wage was created expressly to ensure that people of all skill-levels, if they worked, could “earn a decent living” off those wages—thus, a living wage.
    Like (56)
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    Updated to address Paul’s concerns. I am not convinced that raising the minimum wage is the best way to address the huge inequity and expending gaps between the "Have lots and lots" wealthiest and the "Have less and Less" rest of us. But, without a better long-term strategy to protect our country from this very disruptive wealth 'gap' which can only result in an overall economic decline of our country, this is the best near term solution that can immediately benefit those who are struggling to just get by. The wealthy tax cuts have been shown to directly increase the rate this gap is growing and I think that it will take more than just restoring our prior rates to fix. Wealth taxes in some form are needed but exactly how to do this in a manner that ensures there are no long-term unintended consequences need some deliberate study first. The income/wealth gap prevents younger folks from even considering taking on the responsibilities of parenting within strong family units to raise the nurtured, educated and empowered children that our country's future does quite literally depends upon. So this is an important issue which needs deliberate focus and attention. … … …Paul, I’m sorry that I didn’t explain my concerns. I don’t think that just increasing the minimum wage is effective in the long term. Imagine your community is where you live, work and purchase all the goods and services for your life, and that all the people that provide those goods and service also live in your community. Next, imagine that all of the businesses where you buy stuff operate at no profit but have to pay franchise fees of 10% of revenues to their wealthy franchiser. Rental properties labor is all local and operate at no net local profit even though corporate land owners charge rents indexed to the community’s average income. Any increases in wages by any of these employers will have to be paid for by their customers. Meanwhile the external franchisers and rental proprietary owners continue to collect their ‘reasonable’ fees and profits. It is a vicious circle that, in the long term doesn’t do anything except constantly inflate costs and require constantly increased minimum wages, then constantly increased costs and a vicious cycle that cannot be sustained. There has to be some means to redistribute the wealth that is leaving the community to cut the costs of living there in order to break the escalating cycle and put things into a reasonable balance. There are a lot of options like free or low cost universal healthcare, additional reasonably priced rental properties and homes, lower priced medications, and new employment opportunities that would require the franchiser and rental property owners to absorb some costs in order to stay in business. Mechanisms to redistribute the wealth from folks at the top of the wealth gap to those at the bottom are needed in order to reduce the wealth gap. These mechanisms need to be fair, equitable and effective in developing the rising tide that lifts us all. I don’t think that mandated minimum wages can be effective without addressing the bigger issue of the expanding wealth gap. Methods need to be carefully evaluated before attempting full implementation.
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    A living wage should not be a privilege. It’s the right of every American to afford the country in which they live.
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    Yes it needs to be increased, to $15 an hour at a minimum. Support organized labor and there wouldn’t be any question. When organize labor is strong so is the middle class and America.
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    All ship raise at high tides, which bothers the wealthy! If you think corporations and business are going to pay you what you are worth, I got a bridge to sell you or you are do not worth it! Most businesses can pay more, but choose not too. Giving all sorts of reasons why not, most, it comes down to greed. Unions were form by the people, to give safety in the work place, protect from discrimination, 40 hour work week, healthcare, sick leave, payed vacation, family leave, and pay! $13 dollars an hour is not a living wage. Did you negotiate this when you got job? You are just a number! People are making more money because of the minimum wage in some state force business to pay more, not Trump economic policy. The stock market is going up because all the businesses putting employees 401K future retirement money dump in the market every week, its a pyramid scheme. The Choice is you pay them nothing and government take care of you or you pay them a lot and they pay for everything, infrastructure included or meet in the middle! No job is meant for college students, high school yes, and state controlled that.
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    Studies are showing that the predictions from years ago, that increasing the minimum wage to 13-15, would lead to job losses, is in fact a myth. When the average CEO makes more in one hour than his workers make in a year, it is evidence that there is a gap.
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    So by using a picture of Hispanic ladies, you are insinuating that immigrants should come to America and receive $15hr jobs? No, the government has no business setting a minimum wage. It only drives inflation and kills jobs.
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    Raising minimum wage would just increase the cost of living. People who have minimal skill deserve minimal pay, if you want more pay gain the skills required. A mechanic deserves more pay then a fast food worker.
    Like (20)
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    Free America from Government control. No minimum wage. Free American Citizens, workers, and employees to decide for themselves. Government interference, nd meddling in this, s mosty things causes Much more harm than good.
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    Times change I see minim wage as low as 6:50 I am at 12 I like to see 15 and it start now.
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    People need a living wage. It should start, at least, at $17.50/hr. And the lie about raising the minimum wage is just that: a lie!
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    Be careful what you wish for or in the case of radical alt-leftist liberal democrats legislate minimum wage. You're creating a growing uneducated, no skilled workers who do not qualify for work that employers would want to hire, especially for $15/hr. Automation is exploding in all jobs that do not require workers.
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    I’d say $20.00 minimum, plus costs for food, housing, healthcare and other essentials need to come down! Put a 70% tax with no loopholes, exemptions, subsidies, etc., PERIOD on the wealthy. When we’re paying more taxes than they do, something is wrong with this picture!
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    No “cost of living” pay increases for elected officials until the Federal minimum wage is $17 per hour. Majority Well-Being First.
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    Minimum wage was set for kids going to school and working. Not for s permanent, full-time job.
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    No. I worked my butt off to earn more than minimum wage. Every time the minimum wage is increased, the cost of inflation drives up prices for goods and services, which decreases my purchasing power (since I make more than minimum wage). So by artificially setting wages, government effectively forces a pay cut on workers who already make or exceed that new wage.
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    The myth of the minimum wage leading to job loss needs to stop. The wealthy are just afraid of dipping into their own pockets to pay all people a living wage. Income inequality in our country is a growing threat that will harm us more than any deficit or immigration "crisis". There is no justifiable reason to keep us from setting the minimum wage at a living wage and raising it regularly to adjust for inflation. We do not have a fair playing field for all if we're not willing to pay everybody fairly.
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